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Council tax benefits to be cut for Rochford residents
WORKING age people in Rochford will see their benefits cut under new reforms.
As part of the Welfare Reform Act, the Government will stop Council Tax Benefit on March 31 next year. It will be replaced by the Local Council Tax Support Scheme.
As a result, The Government is cutting the amount of money put into helping people pay their council tax by 10 per cent.
Rochford District Council currently spends £5.1million a year helping 5,100 people in the area but next year it will be cut by £520,000.
Malcolm Maddocks, Rochford councillor responsible for council tax collection, said: “There have been some incredibly difficult decisions to make about who gets what help and how much.
“In going through this process we want it to be as fair as possible to the majority of people. This is a massively important exercise that will have an impact for many years to come so it’s essential our residents have their say.”
The Government protected pensioners from any reduction in their current levels of support – this safeguards Council Tax support for around 3,000 pensioners currently in Rochford.
However, the level of Council Tax support given to those of working age from April 1 next year will be cut to compensate for this.
Under the proposals, people living in properties in Council Tax band E, F, G or H will have the benefit restricted to the maximum amount payable for a Band D property.
It also says regardless of people’s financial circumstances, every working age person that claims the benefit should pay the first 20 per cent of their bill. This means people who currently get the full allowance will have to pay something towards their Council Tax.
There will now be a six-week public consultation which closes on September 12.
Full details of the proposals and the consultation questionnaire can be found at www.rochford.gov.uk/lctsc .